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Finnish government satisfied with new EU RED proposal

The Finnish Government has expressed its satisfaction with the sustainability criteria for the use of forest biomass in energy production in the European Commission's proposal for a new Renewable Energy Directive.

The revised directive will create a solid foundation for increasing the use of renewable energy sources in Finland, said Olli Rehn, Minister of Economic Affairs.

“What is crucial is that biomass will retain its zero-emission status also in the future and that the administrative burden does not inhibit the development of the bio-economy in Finland,” he writes in his blog.

Finland has lobbied for years for a union-wide transport fuel policy that extends beyond 2020.

“Our persistent efforts have now borne fruit, because the commission's proposal for the supply obligation answers this need. Finnish industries will benefit from the gradual transition to advanced biofuels.”

The country will according to him continue its efforts to expand the definition of advanced biofuels in the proposal.

Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of Agriculture and the Environment, estimates that the proposal will also reduce the amount of red tape faced by Finland.

“As Finland's climate and forest policy is sustainable when examined as a whole, there will be no need for item-specific sustainability assessments in the case of domestic forest energy. We can avoid a lot of red tape,” he said in a ministry statement.

Wednesday was a day of joy for the domestic forest industry, commented Petri Sarvamaa (NCP), a Member of the European Parliament.

At worst, he reminded, the proposal could have dealt a heavy blow to the development of the bioeconomy and the utilisation of forest resources in Finland.

“It was great to see how us Finns started, when push came to shove, fighting to protect our interests in Europe,” he said in a press release.